July 20, 2009
People who stutter suffer discrimination
A U.S. survey indicates speech therapy helps the majority of people who stutter but those who stutter are discriminated against.
Thirty percent of parents participating in the survey, conducted by the National Stuttering Association, say they have received bad advice about stuttering from pediatricians and speech therapists.
The survey found speech therapies that change attitudes toward speaking and stuttering were thought more successful than therapies that focus on speech mechanics.
The 1,235 participants in the May online survey included association members, the organization's program attendees and Web site visitors. The results were presented at the association's annual conference held in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The survey also indicates:
-- Forty percent of adults who stutter had been denied a job or promotion and 82 percent of children who stutter have been bullied or teased.
-- People who participate in stuttering support groups report fewer negative effects of stuttering and more successful speech therapy than those who do not.
-- People who had speech therapy from a board recognized specialist in fluency disorders had a more successful therapy experience than those who did not.
The survey was e-mailed in May to the NSA database of approximately 8,000 people.
The survey covered only people who were associated with the NSA and is not representative of all the estimated 3 million Americans who stutter. No margin of error was provided.